WATCHING footage from an action camera is always fun – except for the shaky parts which leave you feeling nauseated.
Unless the intention is to make the audience hurl, then it can be safely said that image stabilisation is key to any action cam videos.
That is where Sony swoops in like a boss with its newest action cams: FDR-X3000R which shoots 4K videos, and HDR-AS300R that takes HDfootage.
Using the Balanced Optical SteadyShot (B.O.SS … get it?) image stabilising system – already available in existing Sony camcorders – the action cams produce steady images, even in 4K and high speed recording modes.
The B.O.SS system is the key improvement to Sony’s previous HDR-AS50R action cam that only uses the SteadyShot image stabilisation system.
In the SteadyShot technology, a single “shift lens” is moved in the optical block to offset camera shake, but the B.O.SS technology moves the entire lens block to compensate for the shake, thus reducing distortion.
“Action cameras are perfect for, but not limited to, outdoor activities. You can shoot the video yourself and keep moving. Our action cams are small and tough enough to handle all the action. We also paid importance to the stability of the footage,” said Sony Malaysia managing director Satoru Arai at the launch in Putrajaya.
“We want to encourage users to enjoy shooting outdoor activities but we propose that the camera is also used for simpler things like shopping or partying.”
Each camera comes with a Live-View Remote kit. The remote controller has a screen to view feed from the camera and also to start and stop recordings.
The kit includes a belt – which allows users to wear the remote on their wrist like a watch – and a mount adaptor that can be fixed on handlebars.
Each action cam is powered by BIONZ X processor, has ½.5 type 8.2 mega-pixel Exmor R CMOS sensor and f/2.8 Zeiss Tessar wide lens.
The combination of image sensor and processor enables full pixel readout without pixel binning for truer colours and reduced ‘jaggie’ effects. Users can capture high-bitrate recordings in 4K at 100Mbps and Full HD at 50Mbps in the XAVC S format.
The FDR-X3000R can also shoot 120p in Full HD while the HDR-AS300R can shoot 120p in HD for slow-motion footage.
Fully-charged batteries last between 50 to 125 minutes depending on the quality of the video. The stereo mic also ensures that sound is crisp and clear as a result of the Wind Noise Reduction system.
Users can control the camera with their smartphones and tablets using the PlayMemories Mobile app, and edit videos using Action Cam Movie Creator PC software. The cameras also shoot stills and time-lapse movies in Full HD.
Some of the HDR-AS50R’s features have been retained in the newer models. This includes angle adjustment of “wide”, “medium” and “narrow” and smooth zooming (up to 3x) which is changeable during recording.
Other available features include Loop Recording, high speed recording in Full HD at 100p for slow motion action, Live Streaming via the Ustream platform, Burst Shooting, and the ability to manually adjust white balance and auto exposure shift.
The bare cameras are splash-proof without a housing and can be used in depths up to 60m using the included Underwater Housing (MPK-UWH1).
Sony has included two new items to the action cam’s accessories range that complements the new models – the AKA-FGP1 Finger Grip allows easy one-handed monitoring and operation of the action cam with live view remote, and tilts up to approximately 120° for low and high angle shots.
The AKA-MCP1 MC Protector adds an extra layer of protection for the action cam lens, when used without the underwater housing. It has an advanced AR coating for great image quality and is even water and oil repellent.
The FDR-X3000R is already available at a recommended retail price of RM2,199 in all authorised Sony Stores in Malaysia, while the HDR-AS300R will go on sale at the end of the month at a tentative retail price of between RM2,000 and RM2,500.